Why Mighty Writers

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“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” —Maya Angelou

The numbers don't lie.

Philadelphia remains the poorest big city in the country. Nearly 40-percent of the city’s students are not graduating high school and only 30-percent of eighth grade kids are reading and writing at grade level.

These are not numbers on a page to us.

They are numbers that too often apply to kids that walk through our Mighty doors every day.

It's why literacy isn’t just a mission for Mighty Writers.

It's personal.

In 2009, we launched Mighty Writers on a South Philadelphia corner with a five-word elevator pitch: We teach kids to write.

We had our mission statement at the ready: To teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity so they can achieve success.

It's been nonstop Mightiness from the day we first opened our doors on a South Philadelphia corner in 2009.

Last year, we impacted the lives of over 3,000 Philly kids with our free programs that teach kids to think clearly and write with clarity.

That's 500 kids more than the year before. And 1,000 more than two years ago.

We're often asked if we're surprised by our growth. We're not. We know what we have.

Writing has power. Learn to express yourself and the world opens up.

We see it every day at Mighty Writers.

You'd think a skill with so much power would be top of mind in every school district in the country.

You'd think wrong.

The priorities on most school system agendas: math, science and standardized tests.

And not necessarily in that order.

Writing sits by itself in the back of the bus.

Don't get us wrong. We love math and science.

But what good is being a math or science whiz if you can't clearly communicate your findings?

In the past twelve months, we've  brought our programs to two city recreation centers: the Rivera Recreation Center, at 5th & Allegheny in North Philadelphia; and the Penrose Recreation Center, at 11th & Susquehanna, also in North Philadelphia.

This coming year, we hope to bring Mighty Writers to two more city recreation centers.

We want to reach 10,000 kids Mighty by 2020.

Our ultimate goal is to make Philadelphia home to the clearest student thinkers and writers in the nation.

How do we plan to do that?

By sticking close to our mission: to teach kids to think and write with clarity.

When we succeed at doing that, we see self-esteem soar, grades improve and eyes fixed on the future.

We get kids thinking and writing with clarity through daily after-school writing academies at all our locations. Through writing classes nights and weekends. Teen scholar programs. And by putting a priority on college prep and college essay writing classes.

Most importantly, we listen closely to the kids. We don't just what to teach from them, but how to live.

 

All our programs are free to the students we serve.

 

We don't do any of this alone. Over 400 of the city’s best creative minds (writers, teachers, journalists, etc.) volunteer and help us teach the hard work of writing to kids ages seven to 17 in seven Mighty Writers locations.

We need all of them-- and you-- this year again to be part of the movement to make Philadelphia home to the best student writing in the country.

And, yes, we need your financial support, too, so that we can open more Mighty spaces and reach even more neighborhood kids this year again.

Writing has magical powers. And some of that power comes to us in the form of kindness from you.

We so appreciate that. You don't even know.

Our Mighty thanks in advance for all your love and support.

Tim Whitaker, Executive Director
twhitaker@mightywriters.org

 

Our Mighty Writer centers are located in seven neighborhoods:

MW El Futuro, 1025 S. 9th Street

MW North, 1600 W Norris Street

MW South, 1501 Christian Street

MW West, 3861 Lancaster Avenue

MW Rivera, 3201 North 5th Street

MW Penrose, 1101 Susquehanna Avenue

MW Camden, 1801 Broadway, Camden, NJ

Stop by and see us.